Have you recently (or not so recently) gotten Shootq for your studio but you’re dragging your feet about getting it set up and working? Overwhelmed and not sure where to begin?
Plan to invest a good 4 weeks or so of time to really get yourself set up with shoot q (less time if you are a new studio). There are some free webinars available and a handful of YouTube videos from enthusiastic users. You really have to be prepared to go it alone for the most part.
Many people give up, because it just seems too complicated to get started, and the available free training and set up materials is not nearly adequate. However, remember that software for photographers is a very small market, so you can not expect there to be a plethora of free training tools available to you. That's just part of the world of small business, the tools are harder to come by.
If you know anyone using shootq, ask them to input you as a dummy lead, and send you a contract as well as some sample emails, so you can start to see what it looks like from the inside. I also highly recommend the personalized training. It’s an investment that is well worth it. Like I said, you need to remember that this is like hiring a part-time studio manager. So the time and small investment is well worth it.
The Set-Up Process
Basically, you break the install process down into 3 components:
This is where you add in your logo, your contract, all you’re a la carte items, pricing, set up the auto payment system, etc. This is helpful for getting familiar with the shootq landscape and understanding the inner workings of the system.
Email Templates & Questionnaires
This is the section I felt took the most time. We had a good number of email templates we had been using regarding new client welcome, engagement session preparation, meeting confirmations, album design process etc. However I really took the time to review and consider each email, and set up a flow of communication for each stage of the process.
Some people may argue how un-personal sending out template emails is. That’s fine for them; they like to sit in their office, away from their kids, still working at 2am.
We also took the time to design some really cool pdfs for client education, something I had wanted to do for a long time. We put together a pdf on why we recommend a “first look” before the wedding, what to wear to the engagement session, and other information we wanted our clients to know in order to improve their photography experience.
Workflows for Shoots and Products
After getting the email templates set up, the next step is getting your workflows input. If you don’t have these steps already written down, you’ll need some time to get this right. Starting with a type of session (wedding, engagement, family) and write out the entire production workflow (not albums), then move on to customer service workflow (include when each of the template emails gets sent. Add in marketing workflow, and you should be done with the sessions. Now you want to put together workflows for your products. So each product gets its own workflow-different albums and anything that is not always included in every single package.
Now that you have it all set up, you’ll want to go back and refine everything, make sure it all makes sense and flows properly. Test it out. A lot. Work out the kinks now, before you get your clients in there. There are a lot of little quirks that I didn’t see until the one-on-one training (done via webinar).
Did you read my original ShootQ Review It lists some of my favorite features of ShootQ and the many reasons why I couldn't live without it.